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Baggage Holiday by Aled Thomas Trio

Aled Thomas sounds like he could use a hug. Lucky for us that means he has written some good songs.

His trio opens the CD with the title track, a clever number about checking in your emotional baggage at the airport and sending it away for a week. Thomas holds out hope that his troubles will get lost for good. "If there’s one place they’re likely to lose your baggage, it’s Heathrow Terminal Five," sings the British pianist and vocalist.

Thomas is a good antidote to those young jazz singers who strike a pose that’s too smooth and too slick. While they may be hip, Thomas revels in being every man. He’s put upon, weary, and funny. If he traded in his piano bench for a sit-com, he would play the acerbic office mate.

If he had to be compared to another songwriter, Randy Newman might be a good choice. Both are adept at capturing the spirit of a particular moment in time.

On "The Post Office Song," Thomas sings about a post office worker coming to visit him at home. Thomas naturally makes him wait in line before informing him that he has to fill out a form and then rejoin the queue. He then goes to lunch, leaving the post office worker to wait for him. It’s a revenge song that could easily fall flat, but Thomas delivers the lines with just the right touch of humor.

Thomas has writing credits on 11 of the dozen songs on the CD. The exception is a spirited cover of Irving Berlin’s "Blue Skies." It’s a nice response to the troubles he sings about in the other numbers.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Aled Thomas Trio
  • CD Title: Baggage Holiday
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2010
  • Record Label: Itchy Knee Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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